Dentists and doctors will tell you that as with anything else with people (or their babies) teething occurs differently in different children. Babies begin teething at different times, and they feel pain and discomfort in different ways and by different amounts. The first challenge for a parent, of course, is to recognize when it actually happens. How do you know when you can put a baby’s fussiness down to teething and when you are to put it down to a actual problem? This little guide to how to spot teething babies should help. It will be a couple years before the first visit to the dental office.
Let’s start with how you can spot teething babies. Your first clue of course would be to actually see the white tip of a tooth just below the gums somewhere. You can also tell if there seems to be a bump along the gums somewhere that could indicate to you that a tooth is in the process of erupting. A baby that keeps drooling, keeps trying to do something with her hands and face that would indicate to you that she’s trying to comfort herself, a baby that keeps worrying her ears – all of these are pretty good signs that your baby’s going to have some brand-new choppers.
If there’s just one tooth coming out at a time, the discomfort should last about a few days for each tooth. If there is a whole set of teeth coming out at the same time however, they really have it in for your baby. It’s going to last several weeks. And remember – if you have a baby that’s suddenly having a lot of trouble sleeping, teething babies do that too.
Okay, so you do know now what teething babies look like. It would also help if you could look at a baby that had a problem that wasn’t related to teething and be able to tell. A baby with a fever, a runny nose or an upset stomach isn’t usually reacting to the teething process. There are lots of parents who are completely sure that teething does these to a baby. But study after study shows that there’s just been no connection. If there is anything like this going on, be sure to whisk your baby off to the doctor.
It would also help if you knew when to expect the whole teething thing to start. The problem of course is that there is a very wide window that it chooses to happen in. It can happen at four months and it can happen to 10 months. Sometimes, the first tooth shows up past the first birthday. As long as your baby seems healthy overall, there really is nothing you need worry about. You could make a mention of it to your doctor, is all.